The Book of Job-Chapter Three:
"Sorrows of Suffering"
Here we will plumb the depth's of a man's torment. This is an x-ray of Job's experience, and as is true in all of His Word, God wants us to consider it carefully. Job's suffering is very real and the Bible puts no gloss at all on his response to the pain:
Verses 1-3: "After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. "
Job isn't putting on anything and his reactions are quite gut-wrenching. This is a terrible thing to say before God (I wish I was never born!). That's not praise and worship, is it? But here it is.
Verses 4-5: "Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it."
Perhaps any of us would break under the strain that has gripped Job. Enough suffering and even the brightest Saint might wish for peace in death and an end to living.
Verses 6-10: "As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes."
Many, I think, feel that you must get out and go to "The House of Blues" or somewhere like that today to experience the real grit and feelings of true living. But there is plenty of realism in God's Word. Christianity may seem stiff and sterile at times, but Christ isn't. He came to know even more about suffering than Job. The Lord does not turn away from those who lose all hope.
Verses 11-16: "Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light."
None of this seems like a very holy response on Job's part. But it is honest. And we, most of all, need honesty in the Church today.
Verses 16-22: "There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? "
Job isn't just hurting, He is bitter, too. Even bitter toward God.
Verse 23: "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? "
Isn't it justifiable to blame the Lord as ultimately responsible for our suffering? It's pretty clear that this is what Job is doing here:
Verse 24: "For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters."
Didn't even the Son of God complain from His Cross of suffering, "My God, Why hast though forsaken Me?" Is that license for us and Job to complain when we are greatly in distress?
But Job's complaint is not equivalent to Christ's, I think. Job was righteous in his living but lived in fear of losing his blessings. Christ was not encumbered in that way:
Verse 25: "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."
This is why we are here, beloved. To see that Job is bitter because he thought, as we often do today, that righteous living is an insurance policy against all or most suffering and distress. That is where many followers of the Lord have stumbled into eventual bitterness against Him. That kind of righteousness does not bring peace and freedom to your life even in the good times, as Job has learned and testifies:
Verse 26: "I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came."
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